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Carrot festival is a celebration with a crunch

The event will be a showcase of foods and desserts from all over the world " including carrot cake, local produce, music and entertainment, vendors and crafters, a miniature health fair, and plenty of activities to keep kids entertained.

"It is our synagogue's biggest fundraiser of the year, and we do hope to raise a significant amount of money," said Fink.

In the food tent, attendees will find traditional Jewish foods such as tzimmes, Israeli salad, hummus, falafel and brisket sandwiches. Hamburgers, hot dogs and portabella mushrooms will be cooked on the grill, and chicken dinners will be available. The farmers market will feature produce from The Carrot Barn at Schoharie Valley Farms.

Vendors and crafters will sell items such as jewelry, kitchen gadgets, pottery, cosmetics, floral designs, clothing and more. The health fair, staffed by Agudat Achim's Faith Community Nursing volunteers with support from Ellis Hospital, will provide free blood-pressure screenings and health-related information.

A special afternoon concert at 2 will feature the local band Joe's Boys, playing "good time rock 'n' pop" from the '60s through today. Other entertainment will include a Klezmer band featuring youth from the congregation, Israeli dancers, Art Isenberg on the keyboard, the synagogue's choir Hava Nashira, and the band Swing Shift.

For kids, activities will include crafts provided by Niskayuna Price Chopper's Half-Pints, a rock climbing wall, pony rides from noon to 2 p.m., the Schenectady Museum, face painting by the 4-H group Wavy Dolphins from noon to 3 p.m., Price Chopper's inflatable play structure, mini art classes provided by KidzArt, demonstrations by Drama Kids International and Reptile Adventure.

"We are very excited to welcome the community to our congregation's 31st Carrot Festival," said synagogue president Jeff Handelman in a statement. "The festival is a labor of love, involving a great number of dedicated volunteers and a year of planning. We are so appreciative of our sponsors for helping us bring this event to the Niskayuna community."

Congregation Agudat Achim is located at 2117 Union St. in Niskayuna. For more information, contact the office at 393-9211.

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